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Ran my 2nd gen Prius with no oil :(

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  • Ran my 2nd gen Prius with no oil :(

    I guess this is something I shouldn't talk about, but it happened. So the 2nd gen turns into a pure electric car when the gas engine stops. It stopped the engine to prevent damage(further?). Luckily I was only 100 yards from the house.
    The car has 224,000 miles on it, and consumes oil. Meant to change the oil 6 months ago but kept putting it off. Don't know where the oil goes, engine is clean, no smoke in the exhaust.
    Luckily I've only ever used synthetic in it. Changed the oil last night, new filter, runs well.

    With all of this said, I went and bought a super fancy OBDI reader from Bosch, and also got my fake Toyota Techstream reader going. Checked the battery voltages and internal resistances, even changed how the door locks work. The batteries are still fine??? They are all consistently the same, no flags thrown. Going to drive it around today and see if any other codes get thrown.

    The fake Techstream reader I used with WinXP running in a virtual machine on my MacBook. Works like a charm.

    So, lets see how many more miles I get on this car? I think I can get 300k out of it. Let it be a testament to synthetic oil, and NOT being lazy with maintenance.

  • #2
    No oil like forgot the sump plug or ”just” low oil and the oil pressure warning light came on?
    If latter probably not that big deal..

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    • #3
      The later

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      • #4
        Nice to see someone had the foresight to shut it down under those circumstances. A low oil pressure light coming on when jockeying for position in traffic can go unnoticed until it becomes audible at which point it's too late.
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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        • #5
          You have to love a system that detects a fault, shuts down the engine to prevent damage and then lets you drive home or to the dealer.

          My favorite error message (gen 1) was "You are out of fuel. Please drive to the nearest gas station."

          At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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          • #6
            Just drove the car 16 miles to Home Depot. No issues, even reported 54mpg. Like nothing happened.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by danlb View Post
              You have to love a system that detects a fault, shuts down the engine to prevent damage and then lets you drive home or to the dealer.

              My favorite error message (gen 1) was "You are out of fuel. Please drive to the nearest gas station."
              While im always aware of how much oil is in my car it could come in very handy for folks that take their vehicles to "jiffy lube" or the like where kids are constantly leaving drain plugs and filters loose or sometimes forgetting to put oil back in the engine...

              and the out of gas thing Iv definitely could have used a time or two lol it is very cool to have regen. brakes and a secondary system

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RB211 View Post

                So, lets see how many more miles I get on this car? I think I can get 300k out of it. Let it be a testament to synthetic oil, and NOT being lazy with maintenance.
                I had 94 GMC 4x4 with 560000 km with 454 that got wrote off with deer impact and I bought it back from insurance.It allways had 5-30 Mobil 1 full Synthectic that oil was changed at 10000 intervals.I sold the truck to a guy just wanting the engine,a fellow that rebuilds GM engines advised him to rebuild it with that many km on it.The guy was amazed as it showed little wear and bore was not even needed a oversize,he said cam lobs looked like new.

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                • #9
                  In most cases, the engine oil level can be considerably lower than the "add oil" mark, and the engine is fine.

                  I am told that the usual Lycoming etc aircraft engines can run fine on 1/2 the nominal amount of oil. The issue is more with splash lube engines, that may not get the splash where it needs to go if the oil is too low. As long as the pump is not sucking air in a pressure lubed engine, it should be fine.

                  If the oil had all run out, then that would surely have been a case of shut it down NOW. Low oil pressure, same thing, if too low to lube effectively. Low oil LEVEL, maybe not so exciting
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

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                  • #10
                    Years ago I bought a new 78 Camaro with the 350 cu small block engine and a couple of months later while driving down the highway one night, after about an hour of driving the low oil pressure warning light came on. I immediately shut it off and coasted to a stop. I had checked the oil level before I left and when I checked the dipstick it showed full. I was puzzled but since I knew there was oil in it I got back in and started it up and to my extreme relief the light stayed out! That never happened again during the time I owned it. Go figure.
                    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                    • #11
                      A friend was telling me he needed to change his oil soon after swinging by one evening because the low pressure light came on. I went "WHAT!?!" and asked him if he was sure is was the pressure and not the oil level light. He said "I think so." We changed the oil on the spot. Late 00's Ford F150 with about 75k. Drained 2 quarts. Filled 9 or something. It's still running.

                      I think he had the same problem 2 weeks later. Took it to the dealer, and had some recall work done on it. I guess PCV, dunno, never quite heard what it was.

                      You'll be ok OP.
                      21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration

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                      • #12
                        Ran my 2nd gen Prius with no oil


                        Point?

                        Next plug? kidding.I would like to afford n electric car.

                        I cant afford the new cars with the crazy self steering chit!! JR












                        Last edited by JRouche; 11-09-2019, 05:44 AM.
                        My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                        https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                        • #13
                          Running an engine low on oil is never a good practice - and NO it's not the same even in a pressurized system, Oil is a huge part of the cooling system esp. for the lower end, the vehicle is designed for this - you may very well be able to consistently run low if your just putzing around like what the OP stated except if his engine shut down because of no pressure that's never good,

                          point being is if you have a five quart capacity engine and it's only got 2 quarts in it just because the light does not come on does not mean "your just fine" try pulling a mountain pass and maybe even towing something and you will soon find out just how valuable that extra capacity is,,, your not only working the daylights out of a small amount of lubrication, your overheating it in places where it simply cannot dissipate and get rid of the extra friction loading... your next wonderful surprise will be a connecting rod hanging out the side of your engine block...

                          proper oil level is of the utmost importance...

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                          • #14
                            What we will be seeing more and more is engines running out of oil even though they are to the full mark...

                            these newer extremely small displacement engines that are packing a huge horsepower punch (direct injection turbo gassers) need the highest quality oil possible to function properly and avoid sludge build up, but people are cheap and will try to use conventional and save a few bucks, what WILL eventually occur is while the dipstick level will show full when parked for awhile - it will show empty when running - this is due to the oil drains in the head being all plugged up - the oil cannot drain down fast enough and will actually be "stored"in the upper end, while the sump runs dry... im already seeing this and expect it to be a huge "trend"...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                              Running an engine low on oil is never a good practice - and NO it's not the same even in a pressurized system, Oil is a huge part of the cooling system esp. for the lower end, the vehicle is designed for this - you may very well be able to consistently run low if your just putzing around like what the OP stated except if his engine shut down because of no pressure that's never good,

                              point being is if you have a five quart capacity engine and it's only got 2 quarts in it just because the light does not come on does not mean "your just fine" try pulling a mountain pass and maybe even towing something and you will soon find out just how valuable that extra capacity is,,, your not only working the daylights out of a small amount of lubrication, your overheating it in places where it simply cannot dissipate and get rid of the extra friction loading... your next wonderful surprise will be a connecting rod hanging out the side of your engine block...

                              proper oil level is of the utmost importance...
                              Straight up challenge to your claims....But I am not claiming it is good to do.

                              1) If the pump always gets enough oil to keep up pressure, then the bearings will see NO effect that could be detected. How could they? The pump always has enough oil to produce fullpressure. You get to PROVE that there is any difference at the bearing.

                              2) Cooling? Well, yes,oil does do cooling and requires cooling. A blanket statement such as yours is worthless, because you do not mention HOW that cooling occurs.

                              If the vehicle has an oil cooler, then if the pump is getting enough oil, the cooler will, since the pump oil flows through it.

                              If it is a sump type passive cooler, then the SHAPE of the sump, and the amount of oil left makes all the difference. it all depends on how much surface area is given for cooling. Just having more "oil in a barrel" does not have any effect on the cooling unless there is a significant change in cooling area. A large flattish sump will have little change with oil level, as the bottom is the major cooling surface.

                              You get to PROVE that is not so,PROVE that cooling is drastically reduced regardless of the shape of the sump, or presence of an oil cooler..

                              3) Your mountain example is really falling under #1, since the oil may be not reaching the pump if the car is tilted as in going up hill.So that is really a case of loss of oil pressure. The cooling is dealt with only if the angle reduces the cooling area.

                              The idea is NOT that a half cup of oil can replace your 6 quarts, but rather that most engines can run with 40 to 50% of the normal oil capacity, because that amount is less likely to affect pressure or cooling.

                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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